I have family members who would probably say that I've been cursed with a little bit of OCD, obsessive, compulsive disorder. I'll admit that nothing makes my heart purr more than seeing sweeper marks in my carpet or having my Kleenex box not only match my bathroom but my underwear too. However, I have one particular brother who says I have ERD, excessive, repulsive disorder. I'm not exactly sure what he means by that, but I'm certain it's a complement, don't you think?
I'm also kind of known for not being able to leave good enough alone. When my mother put me in charge of icing my own birthday cake when I turned 10, the icing was gray because I kept adding different food colorings to get just that perfect shade of whatever color it was that I was going for. I should have stopped with the first two drops of red and had a pretty pink cake, but gray it was. Lesson learned. Leave good enough alone, right?
Not today folks. I took a perfectly good recipe for oatmeal bread and made some changes just because I wanted to try something different and see if I could make it even more perfect. (Here's where another brother would chime in and say that I'm looney tunes with a side order of nuts.)
You've seen me post various recipes using Coach's Oats instead of regular, old fashioned oats. I love this product and have been incorporating it into almost every recipe that uses oats. However, this is the first time I've made bread with Coach's Oats and I have to tell you that this bread turned out even more beautifully than I had imagined. The other main difference between this recipe and my original oatmeal bread recipe is that I used a biga. I had a 9 ounce portion of biga that needed to be used and I thought I'd work it into this recipe. There is some white bread flour in the biga, but the rest of the recipe is whole grain, which you all know I love and preach about ad nauseam.
Coach's Oats Bread
The biga (makes 18 oz. which is enough for TWO loaves)
2 1/2 cups unbleached bread flour
1/2 tsp instant yeast
3/4 cup plus 2 TBSP to 1 cup water, room temperature
In the bowl of your stand mixer, whisk together the flour and the yeast. Add the 3/4 cup plus 2 TBSP water and using your paddle attachment, mix until the dough comes together to form a course ball. Switch to your dough hook and knead dough for 4-6 minutes, adding additional water or flour as necessary until the dough is soft and pliable, tacky but not sticky. Spray a bowl with cooking spray and transfer dough to bowl, rolling it around to coat the dough with oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and ferment at room temperature for 2-4 hours, or until nearly doubled in size.
Remove the dough from the bowl and knead lightly to degas. Return it to the bowl and cover bowl with plastic wrap. Place bowl in refrigerator overnight (and for up to 3 days.)
Remove biga from the fridge one hour before making final dough to remove chill. Place on greased surface and covered with plastic wrap that has been coated with cooking spray.
The final dough:
1 1/4 cups boiling water
3/4 cup Coach's Oats (or regular old-fashioned oats)
2 TBSP unsalted butter
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup honey
2 1/2- 2 3/4 cups white whole wheat flour
1/4 cup dry milk
2 TBSP vital wheat gluten
2 1/4 tsp instant yeast
9 oz. room temperature biga (see above) divided into 5-6 smaller pieces
sesame and/or poppy seeds, optional
Place oats, butter, salt and honey in the bowl of your stand mixer. Pour boiling water over and stir well to combine. Let mixture cool to lukewarm (around 100 degrees)
In a medium bowl combine 2 cups of the white whole wheat flour, the dry milk, wheat gluten and yeast. Whisk together.
Add the flour mixture and the biga pieces to the mixing bowl. Using dough hook knead all ingredients for 7-10 minutes or until a soft dough forms. Use the reserved 3/4 cup of white whole wheat flour to get the dough to a tacky, not sticky consistency. The dough make leave a trail at the bottom of the bowl but will clear the sides.
Place the dough into a lightly greased bowl, cover and let rise for about 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
Spray a 9X5 bread pan with cooking spray. Lightly grease hands and deflate dough. Turn dough onto lightly greased countertop and shape into a log. Place into prepared pan. Spray plastic wrap with cooking spray and loosely cover loaf. Let rise until it has risen at least an inch over the rim of the pan, about an hour. My kitchen was so warm when I made this bread that the second rise only took about 40 minutes..
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mist bread with water and top with sesame and/or poppy seeds, if desired. Bake bread for 45-50 minutes, tenting with foil for the last ten minutes to prevent over-browning. Remove from oven and turn onto a cooling rack. Brush loaf with melted butter if you like a soft crust. Let cool completely before slicing.